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How to Conduct Research at the Athenaeum

Busch Reading Room
Busch Reading Room (Reference Room). Photo by Tom Crane, 2006.

The first step in conducting research at the Athenaeum is to check our online catalogs.  The Franklin Library Catalog and Philadelphia Architects & Buildings site contain holding information and call numbers for most of the items in the Athenaeum's collections.  If you identify the call numbers of the items you would like to see before your research visit, your time at the Athenaeum will be used more effectively. 

Research at the Athenaeum is by appointment only!

Table space is limited and the reference room is often used for other purposes, such as programs and lectures. Some collections are stored in an off-site storage facility in Delaware.  These materials may take 2 -5 business days to retrieve.

Some of the collections now stored off-site include the AIA Philadelphia Chapter, Cret, Durham, Dagit, D’Ascenzo, Dickey, Hayes & Hough, Lovatt, Magaziner, Price & McLanahan, Rankin & Kellogg, Wanamaker, and many others.

Please contact Curator of Architecture Bruce Laverty in advance to determine if the items you need to review are off-site and to schedule an appointment. 

If you are not an Athenaeum member, you will be required to complete a Guest Reader Form on your first research visit.  You may also fill out the form in advance and bring it with you.  All researchers must present photo identification on each visit.